Yep, I’ve started nordic walking. What’s that you say?

Well Nordic Walking is walking with 2 poles, almost like cross country skiing. It is a full body workout and far more intensive than just walking. That said, it is also way easier to keep at it. I’m not sure if it is the rhythm, or the speed, or just having something your entire body is working at, but I’ve been going hard for 40-45 minutes at a time. Which is quite a feat for someone so incredibly out of shape 🙂

There are special poles for nordic walking, but right now I’m just using the hiking poles that I got for Christmas a couple years back. They are close enough until I see if I’ll stick with this. I popped the feet off so I’m just using the metal tips. They easily adjust for height and have nice wrist bands. (Thanks Brian S.!)

When nordic walking, what I didn’t expect, is that most of the time the poles are behind you on an angle. They’re never really beside you, and never in front of you, like if you were hiking a trail. It is a lot to master really. Your arms are supposed to mimic normal walking motion. To get your arms back for a full swing, you end up with a big stride and you rock your upper body, ending in a full body workout.

Jeff and I’ve been driving to a secluded gravel sideroad nearby with the dog. It isn’t a leisurely couple walk, and we’re really nowhere near each other. Jeff and the dog are way in front of me. We walk for about 20 minutes up the road, and then turn around and walk back to the car. I find I really hit in my stride in the last half of the way back. All the kinks are worked out, I’m soaked in sweat, and my pace picks up. I’m hoping that as I get better at it, my pace will pick up so I won’t be so far behind Jeff’s power walking.

It’s not like learning other sports (like when we picked up tennis in the summer of ’05) that make you acutely sore afterwards. I feel rejuvenated. It is a good cardio workout. Tonight I can feel it everywhere, my arms are heavy, my collarbones and shoulders are even feeling it. I feel it in my back, my shins, calves, even in my abs. I love it.

Today my iPhone’s step counter is at 7,010 so far, or 4.9 kilometres. That includes walking around the house and a visit to the grocery store. Still not my 10,000 steps a day goal, but a drastic improvement!